Good Blood, Bad Blood

Wet Weather

Nasturtium foliage.

“Just remain in the center; watching. And then forget that you are there.” Lao Tzu

In early November, wet weather arrived to cleanse the Hood River Valley. Seasonal debris in our yard glistened with rain.

Oval blades of lilac nested with the serrated ellipses of cherry. The lobed margins of oak leaves tucked themselves into the mix. Veins on the leafy moons of nasturtium floated above a bed of river stone.

Overhead, geese conversed as they departed for winter retreats. My cheeks simmered in the morning’s chill. The scent of decomposing leaf litter filled the sweet damp air.

(Click on any photo to enlarge the gallery.)

From Five Easy Pieces:

Perpetual Autumn

Summer dissolved in autumn’s weakened sun.

Chores came due, and the pine and fir were split,

And the roof scaled to clean the sooted flue,

And the tawny wood stacked up high against

The barren rafters of the weathered shed,

Where spiders fed on October’s insects.


Dense clouds of leaves floated over the fence

From the boughs of a neighbor’s noble oak.

They twirled and plummeted to the ground

In the shaggy frost of early morning,

Nesting on stones that surround the laurel

And the mossed trunk of the white bark cherry.


I gathered up the fallen debris and

Arrested disorder with symmetry.

I quarreled against the icy chill, and

The bedded stems that resisted the rake,

And the whorl of leaves that escaped its scratch

To scatter free, outside my custody.


Some hid in the skirt of the burning bush:

The clutter of perpetual autumn.

Others fluttered away, dried and brittle,

Propelled by the wealth of west winds that honed

And shaped the land and the silent river

Where great blue heron glide and fish alone.


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